Southern Cross of Honor to Virginia Veteran and Appomattox Parolee
United Daughters’ of the Confederacy Southern Cross of Honor in Crankshaw screwback pattern. Excellent and period engraved to T.M. Goldsby. Only one possible Confederate soldier by that name. Thomas M. Goldsby, found in many records at “T.M.”, enlisted 9/1/1863 at Richmond, VA as a Private in Company A “Otey's-Walker's Battery”, VA 13th Battalion Light Artillery. He was hospitalized 6/22/1864 during the Battle of Cold Harbor and Seige of Petersburg, at Chimborazo Hospital Richmond with a gunshot wound to his left arm. Following a 60-day furlough for wound on 7/5/1864, he transferred 12/5/1864 to the Veteran Reserve Corps, Quartermaster Department, Fields Division. Goldsby surrendered with Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia and is listed in the roster of the Appomattox Paroles.
Ancestry and Fold3 have numerous links to Goldsby's service records. He served in a local militia before enlisting in the Virginia Artillery.
History of the Otey Battery 1862-1865
Captain George Gaston Otey, adjutant of the 1ST Virginia Infantry, organized a new battery of light artillery in 1863. He recruited from Richmond’s upper and middle classes and the battery was held in high esteem. Ordered to Western Virginia for serviced, the battery became part of a battalion commanded by Major John Floyd King. From 1862 to Spring of 1864 the battery was engaged in operations in Western Virginia and East Tennessee. The battery saw its first action at the Battle of Giles Court House, Virginia on May 10, 1862 and at Lewisburg, West Virginia on May 23, 1862 it lost its commander, Captain Otey, who was mortally woded. Lt. David Norvell Walker assumed command.
The battalion was designated as the 13th Virginia Light Artillery Battalion. The Otey Battery was designated as Company A, the Ringold Battery as Company B, and Davidson's Battery became Company C. In early May 1864, after two years serving in the mountainous regions of Southwest Virginia and East Tennessee, Otey’s Battery joined Porter Alexander’s command and soon passed to Major Wade Hampton Gibbes of South Carolina. Otey’s Battery then joined Longstreet’s 1ST Corps. Otey’s Battery would see action at North Anna and Totopotomoy Creek and the bloody fighting at Cold Harbor. After Cold Harbor, from June, 1864 through April, 1865 the battery served in the Battle of the Crater on July 30, 1864. The 13th Virginia Light Artillery Battalion was in line to the right of where the crater created by the explosion was located. Major Gibbes sent the men of the Otey Battery to man the guns abandoned by another battery. From their position they fired directly into the large pit made by the Yankee mine, performing lethal execution on the Federal troops trapped there. Throughout the fight the men of the Otey Battery fought with tenacity and distinction. One of the Otey gunners stated that the crews “fired a wagon load of shells into the crater”.
In October, 1864 the 13TH Battalion was transferred from Longstreet’s 1ST Corps to A.P. Hill’s 3RD Corps and moved to the defenses around Petersburg. On February 5, 1865, temporarily attached to Maj. Gen. John B. Gordon's 2nd Corps, the battery took part in the Battle of Hatcher's Run. In late March 1865 the 13th battalion was sent to Fort Gregg in the outer rim of defenses. Lee knew he would have to evacuate his lines at Petersburg. The defenders at Fort Gregg were to buy time for the Army of Northern Virginia to make its escape. At noon on April 1, the Federal XXIV Corps attacked Fort Gregg causing heavy casualties among the defenders. Those of the 13th Bn who survived Fort Gregg headed west across the Appomattox River, to join in the retreat of the army which began on April 2. The Army of Northern Virginia retreated from the trenches in the evening of April 2, 1865. On April 5, at Amelia Court House, the artillery of the Army of Northern Virginia was reorganized and the Otey Battery was rearmed with Enfield muskets and served as an infantry battalion. Otey’s Battery fought their last action at Appomattox Station, Virginia on April 8, 1865 against George Armstrong Custer’s Yankee Cavalry. The men of the Otey Battery were caught in a crossfire between Confederate and Union artillery. The battalion was eventually over run losing many in the process. Those who escaped from the fight were surrendered the next day along with the rest of the Army of Northern Virginia.